Forest Action Plan
Virginia’s Forest Trends and Conditions
Among Virginia’s Forest Trends and Conditions, three important changes for the foreseeable future were identified: population growth and demographic changes such as an aging population and increased ethnic diversity; the continued loss of forestland throughout the Commonwealth; and changes in forest ownership, particularly from one generation to the next.
Eight current and potential threats were also identified: the expansion of the wildland-urban interface and the associated dangers of wildland fire; the sustainability of the forest, especially in the area of new markets and products; potential impacts associated with climate change; a decline in reforestation of our lands; the loss of a viable forest industry; the decline of certain species of trees; a diminishing focus on tree improvement efforts; and insufficient funding for natural resource programs and conservation education.
Some issues affect both Virginia and our neighboring states: the restoration of the Chesapeake Bay an American treasure that is impacted by six states and the District of Columbia; forest health, which includes threats posed by Southern Pine Beetle and Emerald Ash Borer among others; the restoration of diminished species, such as longleaf pine, shortleaf pine and American chestnut; the conservation of land in the New River Valley, and the restoration of the Appalachian forest.
Best Management Practices
Virginia’s best management practices (BMPs) program is quasi-regulatory. The agencies responsible for BMPs policy development are the Virginia Department of Forestry, Marine Resources Commission, US Army Corps of Engineers and the Departments of Conservation & Recreation, Environmental Quality and Agriculture.
Click here to view the most recent BMPs recommendations on the state forestry agency website.
Download the program survey results to view implementation rates and the full research findings.